According to heart.org – Low-frequency hearing loss is associated with two predictors of heart attack.

Low-frequency hearing loss is associated with systemic endothelial dysfunction and carotid intima-medial thickness, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.

Endothelial dysfunction (malfunction of cells lining blood vessel walls) and carotid intima-medial thickness (measure of carotid artery thickness) are both predictors of a heart attack and other cardiovascular events.

Researchers studied existing hearing information on nearly 4,200 patients in the Framingham Heart Study’s Offspring Cohort, which included people who had systemic endothelial dysfunction and carotid intima-medial thickness. Among the people studied, 9.4 percent also had low-frequency hearing loss.  They found carotid intima-medial thickness was 16.6 percent more likely in those with low-frequency hearing loss than those with normal hearing.  An abnormal finding on a hearing test was notably associated with impaired brachial artery flow-mediated dilation percent, a measurement made by ultrasound that is indicative of overall vascular health.

Low-frequency hearing loss was seen 10.3 percent of those with impaired flow-mediated dilation and 8.9 percent with preserved flow-mediated dilation.  Other hearing loss types were also associated with increased risk for impaired brachial artery flow-mediated dilation percent, including low sloping and age-associated high frequency hearing loss.  Also, patients with hearing loss might be at higher cardiovascular risk, researchers said.

Source:  heart.org Michael Widlansky, M.D., M.P.H., Medical College of Wisconsin

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